Call to action for Canada to act now to secure a just and livable future for all.
We at Toronto350 call on the Canadian government to follow through on its recent commitments to “build back better” and invest in a green recovery in the wake of COVID-19. This moment presents a critical opportunity to shift our course toward a better future. Either we plan to meet our Paris Agreement targets, and invest in the health and wellbeing of our communities, or we leave a legacy of defeat in an ever-warming future. As COVID-19 lays bare the appalling inequalities and injustices ever-present in Canadian society, our demands grow more urgent. Paying lip service to the issues that impact us is not enough. Dangerous climate warming leading to more extreme weather events; a growing socioeconomic gap; the rights of workers to sick leave and other basic entitlements; access to affordable and decent housing; respect for Indigenous sovereignty – these are just a few of the issues we face that are crucial to address. We cannot and will not return to the “old normal”- we know that building back better means prioritizing people before profit and investing in ways that safeguard the health and well-being of all.Read more
Yet again, the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee Six Nations near Caledonia are being invaded by developers and the authorities in the municipality of Haldimand. The developers, Mackenzie Meadows, want to build a housing development on unceded Haudenosaunee land, profiting from territory that does not belong to them. To do this they must steal the land from the rightful owners, the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee.Read more
When the current Ontario government came into power with a majority, the first thing they did was reverse the climate initiatives that were well underway. They cut funds to energy efficiency programs, rolled back renewables and clean industry projects and put out a climate plan with significantly less ambition. The new plan reduced greenhouse gas emission cuts by about a third, allowing for 30MT more pollution!
Now, the Ontario government wants to ramp up Ontario’s gas-powered plants, undoing a third of the gains made from coal plant closures and increasing Greenhouse gas emissions 300% by 2025 and 400% by 2040. In fact, they just spent $2.8 billion on 3 gas plants to do so! To supply the plants, Enbridge wants to build a new pipeline through Hamilton to import fracked gas from the U.S.
First Nations, land and water at greater risk after Supreme Court denies leave to appeal
On July 2, 2020, in a ruling with no explanation provided, the Supreme Court of Canada denied the Squamish Nation, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and the Coldwater Indian Band leave to appeal an earlier federal court decision that found Cabinet’s approval to proceed with the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion project was reasonable.
The Nations challenged the consultation process, effectively asking: is consultation adequate where the owner of a project, who also has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the Nations impacted, performs the consultation, then assesses the adequacy of its own process? The Canadian government purchased the pipeline from Kinder Morgan in 2018.Read more
Toronto350 stands against the murder and brutalization of Black, Indigenous, and racialized people, and honours the memory of all Black, Indigenous, racialized, and other marginalized/targeted victims of police violence across Turtle Island. We unequivocally support the demands of Black Lives Matter-Canada (BLM-Canada) to defund, demilitarize, disarm and dismantle the police.Read more
Organizations all across the country, including Toronto350, want to prompt changes coming out of the pandemic that confront inequality and systemic racism, to ensure safety and health, and to seize the window of opportunity we have now, to turn the corner away from harmful practices that destroy our climate and the living world around us.
Toronto350’s Just Recovery teachin presents a way that we can win this safer, greener and healthier future. Here is a recording! Toronto350 Teach-in. There are also some things listed near the end of the blog, that we can do now.
We at Toronto350 are appalled but not surprised by this latest upsurge in Racist police violence against Black People.
We strongly condemn the actions of Police forces across Turtle Island, with particular emphasis on the lynching of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police Department. In Toronto we have seen that we are in no way immune from these Racist Police actions. The death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet is horrifying and alarming. She, her family and community deserve better than a cursory investigation by the SIU. They deserve justice. The police can not be left to police themselves.Read more
On Monday morning, the Just Recovery principles launched! People are ready for a #JustRecoveryforAll, a positive transformation of society that stems from COVID instigated reforms. According to EKOs research from earlier in May, 73% of Canadians are ready in fact! This bodes well for the change we need to see, to #BuildBackBetter, to address the inequalities that are currently embedded in our system and make choices that protect our long-term health and wellbeing.
Art by Corrina KeelingRead more
TRUDEAU AND FOSSIL FUELS
On April 20, the Trudeau government, as part of its economic responses to the ravages of the pandemic crisis, announced that it was allotting 1.7 billion dollars to the fossil fuel industry to help clean up orphaned oil and gas wells. There was also an additional 750 million dollars to reduce industrial methane emissions. This is a small step in the right direction of assuming our environmental responsibilities.
News about our government’s actions during COVID-19, in relation to a potential oil and gas bail-out, is coming in fast! Toronto350 members support a just recovery where funds go directly to workers, people and communities, helping create a greener, healthier future. This post is the first in a series of responses. Also, see the end of the blog for a recap of what’s happened provincially and federally so far.